Many people choose to keep small mammals as pets. Having a pet can bring you lots of joy, but there are also risks involved. Sometimes, keeping a pet puts you at risk of injuries, and even the cutest looking creature may have a bite worse than its bark. Whatever kind of pet you have, it’s important to take steps to protect yourself from injuries and illnesses like those you may catch if you are bitten by a pet rat.
Can you catch infections if you are bitten by a pet rat?
For many people, the idea of keeping a rat as a pet seems odd, but there are lots of rat fans out there. If you’re thinking of getting a pet rat, you may be wondering if there are health risks involved. Rats have a reputation for popping up in our homes uninvited, and they are known for spreading diseases. Many of us think of them as dirty animals, but for some, they are perfect pets. If you are getting a rat, it’s wise to ask your vet for advice and make sure you know how to care for it and what to do if you are bitten by a pet rat. It is possible for pet rats to carry bacteria, which may cause infections in humans. Examples include:
- Rat-bite fever: this bacterial condition is rare in the UK, but it can affect those who handle rats on a regular basis. Other animals, including cats and dogs, can also become infected.
- Salmonellosis: this is an infection caused by a strain of the salmonella group of bacteria. Symptoms are often very severe, especially in children.
What to do if you’ve been bitten by a rat
If you’ve been bitten by a rat, it’s advisable to see a doctor, especially if you haven’t had a tetanus injection in the last ten years. In some cases, you may not develop any symptoms after a rat bite, but don’t assume that this means that everything is OK. Get yourself checked out, just in case.
If you’ve come into contact with a dangerous pet or you’ve sustained injuries caused by somebody else’s pet, you may be able to claim compensation for an animal accident. Call Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone to find out how to make a no-win, no-fee* claim for personal injury compensation or take our 30-second eligibility test online.
Date Published: May 6, 2017
Author: Accident Advice